Weeknight Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya recipe is a quick and easy, one-pot recipe filled with Cajun and Creole flavor that’s sure to please the whole family.
This is one of my MOST FAVORITE recipes on SouthernBite.com. Weeknight Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya is so flavorful, super easy, quick, and reliable. This is consistently a family favorite in my house! You can make it as spicy or as mild as you would like and even serve it by itself as a hearty, stand-alone meal. No, extra sides or additions are necessary. Enjoy!
What is Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya?
Chicken and sausage jambalaya is a hearty, one-pot meal made popular in Louisiana. This dish combines vegetables, rice, and meat with a variety of seasonings and spices offering bold flavors. Typically this recipe is associated with Creole and Cajun flavors and menus.
The main ingredients of jambalaya are meat (chicken and/or sausage), rice, vegetables, and seasonings. This particular jambalaya recipe includes both chicken and sausage with Creole and Cajun seasonings. While I prefer to include onion, green bell pepper, and tomatoes, other recipes may also feature different vegetables, such as celery. Additional common seasonings found in jambalaya are oregano, paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
Traditionally, chicken and sausage jambalaya is all cooked in one pot starting with the meat. Then, vegetables and spices are added. Finally, rice and broth are poured in and simmered for some time while all the flavors marry.
Why I use parboiled rice:
Not too long ago, I revamped this recipe. I have tried many different types of rice, but I ultimately decided to swap regular long grain rice for parboiled rice. Why? Well, a few reasons…
Parboiled rice, also sometimes called converted rice, is rice that is par-cooked with the husk on. Cooking it with the husk on forces a little of the nutrients from the husk into the grain that would ordinarily be lost when the husk is removed. While parboiling it seems like it would cook faster, it actually takes just a few minutes more to cook over regular long grain white rice. But that’s not a big deal in this case.
The real reason I like to use parboiled rice is the end product it yields. When it is parboiled, it removes a lot of the starch from the outside of the rice. This is a good thing. When it’s added to recipes and cooked through, you’ll end up with individual grains of rice in the dish rather than a sticky mush that sometimes results from using regular rice.
Can you use regular rice? You bet! But, I much prefer the parboiled/converted kind in this recipe. I think you will too.
What is the best sausage for jambalaya?
I think andouille smoked sausage is hands down the best sausage for jambalaya. You may also find it labeled as “cajun sausage” in your grocery store. This sausage is my top choice due to its heavily smoked and spicy flavor. Those flavors marinate so well into the rice and truly give you the culinary experience of a traditional jambalaya.
If you can not find this particular sausage, I recommend reaching for another smoked sausage or a spicy Italian sausage. You want to use smoked sausage with a robust flavor and a spicy kick. Try your best to find the andouille smoked sausage, but when in a pinch, either of these alternatives will do just fine.
Weeknight Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 pound cajun or andouille smoked sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 pound chicken breast meat, cubed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
- pinch dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
- 2 cups parboiled rice (also sometimes called converted rice)
- Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and chicken and cook, stirring frequently until the sausage has browned – about 5 to 8 minutes. Spoon the meat out of the skillet with a slotted spoon leaving the remaining oil in the pot and set the meat aside.
- Add the onions and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant – about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes with juice, tomato sauce, red pepper flakes (if desired), bay leaves, broth, creole seasoning. Bring to a boil.
- Stir in uncooked rice and return the chicken and sausage to the pot. Stir well. Cover and reduce heat and cook about 20 minutes – stirring occasionally – or until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.